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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Save Energy with Natural Lighting Tips and Solutions

By Scarlet

Electric lighting accounts for about one quarter of a home's energy use so reducing your usage of electricity is a great way to go green and save money. One easy solution can be installing energy efficient windows that allow for more natural light to come in without natural lightingcausing heating or cooling problems. Using natural light in place of electric lights also offers mental and physical benefits in addition to saving electricity.

To help you out, I’ve outlined some additional tips below.

1.    Open the curtains and pull up your blinds. This sounds like such a simple solution and it is. That is the beauty in it! It is so easy to uncover your windows and let the light flood in. At this very moment, not a light is on in my house but the natural light is all I need. Then, in the evening when the temperature is dropping and the light is fading, I cover the windows again for privacy and to insulate against the cooler air outside.

2.    Paint your walls with a light color and matte finish to help reflect the daylight throughout your space.

3.    Arrange furniture in your rooms to promote the flow of light. Things like bookshelves and tall chests should be perpendicular to the window wall so as to not block light coming in from the outside.

4.    Make sure your landscaping doesn't cover your windows. Your hedges may need some trimming and you may not want to plant a tall bush where it will cover up a window and block the natural light.

5.    Daylighting systems (tubular devices with an Energy Star label) offer a cost-effective way to bring natural light into virtually any room of your home! I just discovered tubular daylighting systems the other day when I was on Pinterest and I am so impressed. They can provide as much and even more light you would expect from a skylight and even be installed where there is no direct roof access.

Tips to remember when you absolutely must use electrical lighting:

1.    Turn lights off when not in use.
2.    Choose energy-efficient light bulbs.
3.    Choose green electricity options from your power company.

What are some energy saving solutions you use in your home?

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